The husband of a Democratic incumbent lawmaker now up for re-election in Delaware stole Republican campaign signs under the cover of darkness, according to police.
And Republican party supporters, concerned about a series of recent thefts of GOP party signs, captured the heist on cellphone video.
Middletown, Delaware, police issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for misdemeanor theft charges for Dana Long following the thefts at Middletown Odessa and Silver Lake roads.
"My husband is the man depicted in the video," said state Sen. Bethany Hall-Long (D-Middletown) in a prepared statement.
Police say Dana Long stole signs with slogans such as “Delaware Needs Jobs, Vote Republican” and “Fix the Economy, Vote Republican” written on them.
Hall-Long, who took office in District 10 in 2009, is currently running for re-election against Republican challenger John Marino, a retired New York City police officer. Hall-Long served in the state House before serving in the Senate.
"Sadly, this race has become tough and personal," said Hall-Long. "I was not aware that he had allowed his frustration over the campaign attacks to get the better of him. Of course I'm disappointed and wish that it had not happened."
On her campaign website, Hall-Long says that she married her high school sweetheart Dana, a U.S. Navy veteran, 27 years ago.
Hall-Long withheld further comment citing potential legal action by the GOP.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
Wednesday’s incident was the third time the Republican signs placed along Middletown Odessa Road went missing, according to investigators. On Sunday about 28 went missing, were replaced and by Tuesday morning were missing again.
Police said that local Republicans put the signs back up and waited to see if anyone came by to take the signs. The Republicans captured him removing the signs and returning to his car around 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to investigators.
In video the local GOP supplied to NBC10, you can see a man rush back into his car after being approached by the Republican advocates.
“Those aren’t your signs, bud,” said one man.
“There’s no name on these signs,” replied the man with an armful of signs.
The GOP says that the signs do state that they are the property of the Republican Party of Delaware.
Long, 54, surrendered to police Thursday morning.
The leader of Delaware’s Democratic Party denounced any theft of signs.
"The bottom line is that this is not a Republican or Democratic issue -- this is a campaign issue happening by all parties, and it must end," said Democratic Party chair John Daniello.
"Each campaign season, we deal with candidates removing their opponents signs. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable. There are more positive ways in which to support your candidate regardless of party affiliation," he said. "Candidates, their supporters, and their campaigns must lead by example and discourage this behavior. We understand that this election is coming to a close and tensions are high, but Democrats shouldn't waste their time on such senseless acts."
Delaware Republican Party chairman Charlie Copeland called the incident a "new low" in state politics.
"It is unfortunate that the 2014 political campaign is marred by this event, and Republicans and Democrats alike should condemn this type of behavior across the board," said Copeland. "It simply has no place in the democratic process. We are better then this."